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Mudda panellists feel that BJP has been trying hard to retain turf in this communal strife-ridden Lok Sabha seat, but only results will show where it stands

Bypolls are being held in four Lok Sabha and 10 assembly seats across the country, days after a buoyant victory for a joint opposition alliance in Karnataka. The SP, Mayawati and the Congress are supporting the candidate of Ajit Singh (Rashtriya Lok Dal) in the politically important Kairana LS seat. APN’s popular debate Mudda discussed the issue with panelists including RLD’s Arif Mohammad, Congress’s Omkar Nath Singh, SP’s Manoj Yadav, BJP’s Bhaskar Ghosh, noted scribe Haseeb Siddiqui, and APN consultant Govind Pant Raju.

Anchorperson Anant Tyagi posed the first question to Yadav who said that the opposition is united and the winning margins will be great. “We will win Nurpur seat by one lakh votes,” he said, adding that EVM snags have been discovered at various places.

Ghosh said:”People know that JD-S and Congress were at loggerheads before they came together in Karnataka. In Meghalaya 63.5 percent voting has already happened. How come BJP is responsible for EVM snags, as people are claiming?” he asked.

Yadav said: “The BJP has the habit of saying that ‘wrong’ is ‘right’. The BJP leaders are running away from their responsibilities.”

Siddiqui said: “The PM himself considers these elections as important, and has been finding time to campaign, and meet people.”

Raju said: “It’s a test for the RLD. If it wins, it will have a significant say in national politics. SP gave up a seat for RLD, so in that sense the opposition is together.”

Arif Mohammad said: “RLD is winning this poll in Kairana, the BJP is all out to finish RLD and is claiming that EVMs are not working there.”

Manoj Yadav said: “Kairana is a test for opposition unity. This is why the PM was also there. But we are doing politics of development, not of friction.”

Siddiqui pointed out: “Akhilesh did not go to polling sites, especially since the Muzaffarnagar riots happened in 2013 during the time he was CM.”

Arif Mohammad said: “It is not that Akhilesh was told to stay away due to the Muslim backlash.”

Ghosh said: “The PM’s visits have been official. It is not that the PM has been terrified of the poll results and that is why he went for campaigning there.”

Raju said: “The way PM raised certain issues  (like the GST issue, sugarcane and farmer issues that are important in Khairana), before the polling, was significant, but it is to be seen if that has helped BJP or not.”

Ghosh said:”In Karnataka, Congress and JD-S came together to make the government. That’s a pact of convenience; it should have been done before the polls.”

Siddiqui said: “In Kariana, national issues are more important because it is a LS seat.”

Yadav said: “In Kairana, a prestige seat, we did two rallies and came to know that we were on a winning ground.’’

Raju said: “The Karnataka pact has shown that an alternative front can be orgainsed in the coming days. These polls will show which way the wind is blowing.”

—Compiled by Niti Singh Bhandari

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